Fri. May 24th, 2024

Unemployment applicants skyrocket in the last month for New Mexico

SANTA FE (KSMX)- Today, April 24, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and state officials hosted a remote news conference this afternoon to provide an update on COVID-19 health and unemployment efforts in New Mexico.

Lujan Grisham began by restating the importance of the health orders that are in place and New Mexico is indeed “flattening the curve “. In the last conference, officials unveiled a plan to restart the economy which included preparation phases that will eventually lead to businesses that are deemed non-essential to reopen with safeguards.

The Small Business Administration and staff from the New Mexico Governor’s Office met with the Economic Development Department for a discussion about the Coronavirus “Phase 3.5” relief bill this afternoon. Lujan Grisham stated that they had a great conversation and talked about different categories and areas where they will want to look at but did not release any specifics.

Secretary of Workforce Solutions, Bill McCamley, lead the discussion on unemployment and the efforts being made within the department.

In January of this year, unemployment rates were seen at a “normal” 9,600 New Mexican receiving benefits and 650-800 applications being processed. Since March 15 numbers have skyrocketed hitting 72,806 New Mexicans receiving benefits and 123,816 active applications.

In these circumstances, McCamley stated that 145 staff have been added to unemployment insurance operation centers, 80 staff to assist with adjudication and expanded operating hours.

“To all those that are frustrated and held on the phone for long amounts of time, I just want to say, I am sorry,” stated McCamley.  “I understand your frustration and we have people working across the clock, everyone has been putting in overtime and I’d like to thank everyone who has been working so hard for the department”.

Lujan Grisham announced that though we are seeing this flattening and we should be hopeful, we cannot stop our efforts to keep New Mexicans safe by staying home. Though the plan for recovery was unveiled Grisham was very fervent to these efforts and that “yes hope, but that does not mean businesses can open back up”.

  • Preparation Phase:
    – All individuals are instructed to stay home
    – Industry Councils will develop COVID safe practices (CSP)
    – Define how businesses will protect employees and customers
  • Phase One:
    – Vulnerable individuals will be instructed to stay home
    – Some non-essential businesses will be permitted to reopen in compliance with safety guides
    – Certain businesses will remain closed
  • Phase Two and Beyond:
    – Additional businesses will be permitted to reopen in compliance with CSP.
    – Larger gatherings and events still restricted for the foreseeable future
    – Other changes will be announced at a later time
With the high plains of Eastern New Mexico, we do have the luxury to pop over to Texas at any given time, and with other states beginning to ramp up recovery efforts Lujan Grisham did state that it was a concern.

“I do worry greatly about the impact that could have on New Mexico and already Colorado has begun their recovery plan that does not fit our state. My hope is that we can get a regional design that works for us.”

About Post Author